4 Mistakes Experienced Nurse Practitioners Make in a Job Search

If you’re an experienced nurse practitioner, you’re in luck. Your job search should be much easier than it was as a new grad now that you’ve got some real-life practice hours under your belt. Not to mention, you likely have professional connections to help with your search. Whether you’ve been working as an NP for ten months or ten years, your employment outlook is bright.

While experienced nurse practitioners certainly have an advantage in the job market, there are still a few things you can do to shoot yourself in the proverbial foot when it comes to landing a job. Here are a few common snafus to avoid as you look for employment.

1. The Run-On Resume

If you’ve worked as a nurse or nurse practitioner for years, you want to showcase your experience, right? So, on your resume you list every position you’ve ever held…since 1976. Your resulting resume is 5 pages long bogged down with details from your former life as a telemetry RN.

You should be proud of your robust employment history if you’ve been working for years but resist the urge to include every last detail of your career in your resume. Listing your last 10 years of employment, or perhaps even less, should do. To indicate you have actually been employed prior, include a short line saying something along the lines of “exhaustive employment history available on request”. You can also draw on your past experiences in response to interview questions so your prospective employer is aware of your know-how.

Are You Ready to Thrive?

Learn more about our online residency program; we pair clinical and professional development to take advanced practice providers to the next level. Get More Info>>

The bottom-line? No one wants to read a 5 page resume. Period.

2. Transition Troubles

Your current employment agreement likely contains language outlining how your job is to end. How much notice must you give your employer when you plan to leave? Does your contract contain a non-compete clause prohibiting you from working for a nearby competitor?

Make sure to review your employment agreement before beginning a job search. Taking a job with a competitor that violates a non-compete clause could land you out of work entirely. Violating the terms of your current agreement is poor form, not to mention it puts you in a legal jam. Make sure to time your job search appropriately to facilitate a smooth transition between employers.

3. Being Set in Your Ways

Most clinics and hospitals make an effort to hire experienced nurse practitioners. A few practices, however prefer less experienced NPs. Why? Some seasoned nurse practitioners are less teachable. They adapt poorly to the culture and protocols of a new practice.

If you have many years of nursing or NP experience, make sure to indicate your affinity for being a team player. Express excitement to continue learning in your career during your interview- even if you aren’t switching specialties. Emphasize your abundance of knowledge balancing this with a desire to grow. This shows employers you will approach the position with an open attitude.

4. Letting Details Slide

Yes, as an experienced NP you are in high demand. But you still need to put time and effort into your job search. If you are relocating to a new state for a position, you must make sure to obtain appropriate licensing. You need to format your resume appropriately and send post-interview thank you notes. Don’t let your job search get sloppy or assume that you’re in such high demand you don’t need to pay attention to details.


Could you use some advice in your search for a new position? Get advice from other NPs on the ThriveAP message board!


You Might Also Like: How to Answer Any Nurse Practitioner Job Interview Question


4 thoughts on “4 Mistakes Experienced Nurse Practitioners Make in a Job Search”

  1. I have been an NP for 10 years – had to go out for 2 surgeries and when back on my feet applied for at least 10 psositions. No takers. and I’ve got a varied background.
    Someone mentioned that because new grads can fill in for less money, that most companies hire them first.
    I’m very frustrated.

  2. I have been offered to cover for an internal medicine physician while he is on vacation; after shadowing with him for a day, I will be speaking with him today about my medicolegal concerns.  There will be no Physician on sight, however, will be on call for any questions….; secondly, most of the patients are not English language proficient; third, the scribe is not a licensed person and I will not have a computer to work with throughout my day..

    I will be declining to cover for him due to my concerns noted above.  Any thoughts or words of wisdom?  I believe my concerns are correct and valid.

    Thank you,

    Emma Bowser, ANP-BC


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share Post:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Are you ready to Thrive?

Support + education for early career nurse practitioners.

Are you struggling as an early career NP or PA?

Learn more about ThriveAP, the program designed to boost primary care clinical knowledge.

Support and education for early career NPs & PAs

Download the ThriveAP info
packet for more information!